Braves have most drafted talent of any playoff team

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MLB Pipeline recently released a graph describing where the talent from each postseason team originated from. Unsurprisingly, most of the Braves’ production came from the MLB Draft.

According to WAR, the Braves drafted talent produced better than anybody in the league, which is what I would have expected, given Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider will finish 1-2 in the NL Rookie of the Year race. Atlanta also drafted the likes of Austin Riley, AJ Minter, and Kyle Wright, among others, who all had terrific seasons.

The amount of production the Braves acquired via trade surprised me a bit. Outside of Matt Olson, Atlanta hasn’t made many blockbuster deals. However, if you think back a bit, All-Stars Dansby Swanson and Max Fried were acquired via trade well before they ever reached the majors.

Where the Braves need to do a better job is very obvious from this chart — free agency. Alex Anthopoulos has been a wizard at finding under-the-radar guys, locking up his young core, and finding value via trade. However, he hasn’t been nearly as reliable in free agency. General managers shouldn’t be expected to bat 1.000, but signing guys like Will Smith and Marcell Ozuna to lucrative contract extensions turned out to be abysmal decisions. With Atlanta’s payroll expected to rise, Anthopoulos needs to be wiser with his money. If he can do that, this Braves team has the opportunity to become a dynasty.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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